[signed original on file in Office of Policy]
August 07, 2018
Policy Memorandum 18-01
To: All Employees
From: Deputy Director /s/ P. Daniel Smith
Exercising the Authority of the Director
Subject: NPS Uniform Program – Amendments to Director’s Order #43
This Policy Memorandum updates and amends Director’s Order #43: Uniform Program. Except as specifically amended herein, the 2000 edition of the Director’s Order remains in effect, including the uniform wear standards. U.S. Park Police uniform standards—including the grooming standards for uniformed officers—are found in , which also remains in effect.
Director’s Order #43 was issued more than 17 years ago. In that time, organizational changes within the National Park Service (NPS) have moved responsibility for the uniform program from Business Services to Visitor and Resource Protection (VRP). Also, significant changes have occurred in the garment industry, resulting in fabrics that are more breathable, stretchable, anti-microbial, moisture wicking, etc., and possess other improved characteristics. This Policy Memorandum is necessary to (1) support the identification and procurement of new fabrics that meet the form and function requirements of our employees, their jobs, and the variable environmental conditions in which they work; and (2) align uniform guidance with contemporary business practices. To the extent possible, the uniform contract will require the supplier to provide uniform items that meet current operational needs with modern fabrics and fits.
To those ends, this Policy Memorandum amends Director’s Order #43, as specifically enumerated in section 2 herein.
4.1 Associate Director, Visitor and Resource Protection (ADVRP) will administer and provide policy oversight of the NPS uniform program, including the authority to issue and revise RM-43. The uniform program is located within VRP’s Law Enforcement, Security and Emergency Services division.
4.2 Uniform Program Manager will administer the NPS uniform program, direct program implementation and administer the uniform contract.
5.2.1 Standard Uniform. The three standard types of uniform are: dress, service, and field/work.
5.2.1.a Dress: When selecting this class of uniform to be worn, the rule is to dress up, not down. (Given an option, dressier components are always preferred.) The dress uniform is worn at public events and ceremonies. Managers will prescribe the uniform of the day for the day, dates, or special event. (Historically these have been called Service or Class A uniforms.)
Winter dress—Distinguished by felt flat hat, long-sleeve uniform shirt and tie, dress trousers/skirt, Dress Coat or “Ike” Jacket, USNPS pins, brown dress shoes.
Summer dress—Distinguished by straw hat, short-sleeve uniform shirt, dress trousers, brown dress shoes.
Note that some exceptions to outerwear are appropriate for inclement weather and footwear due to specific duty assignment.
5.2.1.b Service Uniform: The service uniform is our primary identity. It is the year-round uniform for employees whose major duties involve public contact or who are in the public view. There is flexibility in the uniform items where environmental conditions dictate a practical need.
5.2.1.c Field/Work: The standard uniform for employees whose primary duties involve significant physical work, whose public contact work is a secondary function, and where the uniform can reasonably be expected to get soiled, stained, or rumpled. Positions typically assigned to this uniform include those engaged in work projects, backcountry, and some resource management duties.
5.2.2 Special Uniforms. Special Uniforms include formal attire and maternity uniforms. In addition, there are a number of positions and roles that require specialized attire/personal protective equipment (PPE) to support operations (e.g., climbing ranger, lifeguard). This specialized/PPE type apparel may be identified by region, park or program, and used as part of the uniform. As PPE, these items should be acquired through appropriate contracting means.
5.2.2.a Formal Attire: Is the same as dress; however, a white, long-sleeve shirt, purchased from the open market, is worn with the uniform tie, under the Dress Coat, for formal occasions where a three-piece or evening suit might be worn, or where military personnel would wear a tuxedo shirt under their dress coat.
5.2.2.b Maternity: For any uniformed female employee during any stage of her pregnancy. Employees may select any or all parts of the maternity uniform. Superintendents or managers are encouraged to support exceptions to this item if maternity items do not meet employee comfort needs.
5.2.2.c Special work apparel: Certain programs have much more specialized gear needs. These items are essential to work but are not procured through the uniform program; rather they are PPE procured through other program funding sources.
5.2.3 Specialty Apparel. Managers may determine that a group/category/employee class needs other special work apparel due to safety and/or environmental conditions. Such items may include, but are not limited to: mountaineering, ski, and snowmobile clothing; painter’s whites; welder’s aprons; firefighting, caving, bicycle patrol, and boat patrol apparel; flight suits; and tool belts. Special work apparel items are not available through the uniform contract but they may be combined with standard uniform components. When specifically required and approved (in a park or program’s uniform standards) for identified duties, these items will be provided by the Government.
Items that are purchased with Government funds are Government property and must be handled in accordance with the provisions of Personal Property Management, and Occupational Safety and Health (for PPE).
5.2.4 Uniform Items. The Service-wide uniform contractor supplies all components that are authorized as part of the NPS uniform. Only the items supplied by this contractor or specified in Director’s Order #43 and/or RM-43 are authorized for wear as uniform items. The base colors of ranger green and gray will be selected to provide a number of options for uniform items. The specific color palette is described in RM-43.
5.2.5 Non-uniform Garments. Polo, button-down and special event shirts bearing the Arrowhead or the NPS Secondary Mark are available from . These items can support team unity and esprit de corps. Accordingly, they may be worn by non-uniformed employees, and uniformed employees on restricted/light duty, when approved by the employee’s supervisor. Such items are purchased at the employee’s expense. Appropriated funds cannot be used to purchase non-uniform garments, unless they are being procured as a non-monetary award. (See, e.g., , regarding honorary awards.)
5.2.6 Ornaments. Pins (including length-of-service pins), badges (other than the NPS-issued badge), insignia, ribbons, decorations, pin-on jewelry, and similar items, may not be worn on the uniform. The NPS-issued badge, the NPS-provided name bar, and the American flag pin are the only three ornaments approved for regular wear on the uniform. The ADVRP—or the Uniform Program Manager if delegated the authority by the ADVRP—may approve, in writing, the wearing of special commemorative pins, provided they comply with the provisions of RM-43. The Director or a regional director may approve, in writing, wearing NPS badge covers for a specified, limited time period.
5.2.7 Pro-Deals. A pro-deal occurs when outdoor gear and clothing manufacturers sell their products at a substantial discount to individuals engaged in outdoor recreation, emergency response, law enforcement, etc., in hopes that the purchasers will use the gear and recommend it to others, who then have to purchase it from retailers at full price. The use of pro-deals creates the appearance of an endorsement for a product, which is not allowed. Any use of pro-deals requires the concurrence of the Ethics Office. The April 21, 2005, memorandum, subject “Pro Deals (Commercial Discounts) Offered to NPS Employees,” is rescinded.
5.2.8 Co-branding. Co-branding occurs when two or more brand names function together. It is a marketing effort that seeks to leverage the NPS brand and increase the prominence of a product. Non-NPS logos, names, or other branding features are not authorized on NPS uniforms. The application of the NPS Arrowhead or other NPS brands to specialized equipment is not appropriate when a commercial logo is already on the fabric. Procurement of the clothing without the commercial logo is preferred; if this is not possible, however, a patch may be applied to cover the commercial logo.
5.2.9 Footwear. Footwear provided as part of the Service-wide uniform contract is limited, and as such, does not provide for all the particular uses, foot types, and sizes of the entire workforce. Accordingly, employees may purchase footwear at their own expense to meet their particular needs of comfort and performance; provided, however, that such footwear must meet the following color requirements: shoes and boots will be brown or cordovan in color, work boots (which are designed for specific job duties and environmental conditions) will be brown or black in color. Any future changes to footwear color requirements must be approved by the ADVRP.
5.4.3.a Uniform Allowances and Replacement Allowances. Pursuant to , and absent any other specific provision of law or regulation, uniform and replacement allowances will be set as provided in RM-43. Such allowances are provided to help defray the cost of wearing a uniform. They are not intended to completely cover the cost of all uniform needs.
See RM-43, Subpart B, for uniform allowance authorizations and administrative processes.
5.4.3.b Cost Account. All uniform allowance funds, as authorized by the uniform allowance authorization process, will be held in account number PPWOVPADZI PPMPSAS1Z.YU0000.
5.6 Seasonal Uniform Wear
The various uniform classes have winter and summer uniform components. However, in order to allow for greater individual and seasonal flexibility—and taking into account both climate and the nature of work an employee is performing—fixed seasons and transition periods for uniforms are discontinued. This will permit, for example, wearing long-sleeve shirts in the summer for UV protection, or wearing cargo pants with a uniform shirt.
Should you have any questions regarding this Memorandum or the uniform program, please contact Ramie Lynch, Uniform Program Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on 202.513.7122.
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